Left Bank Books Looking for Love, $35,000

Click it, baby. You know you love me. - flickr.com/photos/23540597@N04
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Click it, baby. You know you love me.
It's not easy being an independent bookstore these days, always looking for love and cash. This month Left Bank Books is trying to kill two birds with one stone by competing in Intuit Small Business' Love a Local Business contest for a $35,000 grant.

This morning the Left Bank's events coordinator Danielle Borsch sent out an e-mail to store's listserve asking loyal customers to declare their love on Intuit's website in 250 words or less. (She provided a list of the store's fine qualities to inspire those with writers block.) At the end of the month, Intuit will hold a lottery and select five businesses and then choose the winner based on fan testimony.

"The idea is to get a lot of nominations," Borsch explains. "Each nomination is like a lottery ticket."

Much of the $35,000 grant consists of radio advertising on the Westwood One network (represented in St. Louis by KFNS (100.7 FM) and KMOX (1120 AM)), which Borsch says will be infinitely valuable. "We bring Jimmy Carter into town and people don't know he's here!" she exclaims.

The grant includes an update on the store's tax and accounting software, since Intuit is the creator of Quicken and QuickBooks. "That's not one of the strengths of this bookstore," Borsch admits, "since most of our staff is English majors." It also incldues some cash, which Borsch says will be used to buy more books and fund some of the bookstore's other programs like River City Readers, which brings books into elementary schools.

At this writing, nearly 300 people have declared their love for Left Bank. Borsch has spent part of the morning reading the testimonials and is quite impressed. "People have had amazing things to say," she says.

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